This past Sunday, when Pastor Sean asked, “How many of us see our homes as sacred space?” I thought of the mission statement I have stuck to my office computer – “My mission is to serve others out of a sacred place of fellowship with Jesus Christ.” In both cases “sacred” implies something set apart, doesn’t it? Something holy that belongs to God; something very different from the “me-mine” thinking we see on display in our culture today (and sometimes even in us!).
That same afternoon I picked up an Outreach magazine and read “The Case for Space and Community.” The author (Mel McGowan) writes, “Our God introduced himself as artist and architect: ‘In the beginning, he created…’ And he has never given up ownership of the place he created.”
Of course, we’re a long way from the Garden of Eden, aren’t we? But as the psalmist reminds us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Ps. 24:1). We truly are sojourners on this earth, but even so, God has designed us to settle in homes, to raise families, and to build communities. When he carried the Israelites off to Babylon, he instructed them: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jer. 29:5-7).
“God’s first community was family,” Pastor Sean reminded us on Sunday. And McGowan writes, “God has always been about community…space can either facilitate connection or get in the way.” So it begs the question, doesn’t it…what can I do to ‘set apart’ my home as holy space? How can I build connections with God and with each other in this place so I can invite spiritual growth?
I love my family, as I know you do. And now I even have a new way of thinking about our home. So, who knows? Maybe I’ll even start to think of housework as an act of worship!! Okay…that’s going to be a stretch!! But the seed is planted…